Category Archives: Music & Theatre

Little Mix- Get Weird tour review

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Little Mix are one of my favourite artists around right now. I’m in love with their music, their vocals and their stage presence. Their shows are always incredible so I was extremely excited to go to the Get Weird tour in Cardiff and I was definitely not disappointed.

The show began with the girls being flung into the air before going into Grown and the quality of the performance throughout the whole show just continued. I can honestly say that it is one of the best productions I’ve ever seen. The staging and the visuals were incredible, with the hilarious screens during the costume changes which told the story of the show (they could definitely pull off a Little Mix Spice-World-style movie) and the breathtaking quality of the stage props, including huge trees for the creepy forest themed section including Lightning and DNA.

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I am never failed to be amazed by the vocals of those four girls. During Secret Love Song, Little Me and The End especially, they really do show why they deserved to win X Factor, and they have only improved in the years since. Perrie’s powerful voice blows me away every time, but I love that each girl gets their chance to shine and show off their talent and demonstrate that they all can sing, and very well indeed. I do wish they had included Love Me Or Leave Me though, as it’s one of my favourites on the album and is such a beautiful song that would have showcased their vocals incredibly also.

The girls included a medley of Apache/Fester Skank/Justin Bieber’s Where Are You Now/Beyonce’s Crazy In Love, and even threw some Hotline Bling into the middle of How Ya Doin’. My personal highlights were Lightning (that dance breakdown though!!), Secret Love Song and Black Magic which was the same version as their Brits performance and closed the show as they literally disappeared in a puff of smoke.

I was wondering how Little Mix would beat their Salute tour but they’ve definitely managed it and have put together an incredible show. They are still continuing the tour in the UK right now, before heading to Australia, Asia and Europe. If you’ve managed to get your hands on tickets then you’re definitely in for a treat.

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Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat Musical- UK Tour review

 

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Hi everyone!

Last week I was lucky enough to watch the Joseph tour when it was at the Playhouse theatre in Weston-Super-Mare. This year it stars X Factor winner Joe McElderry in the lead role. I was excited to see him in this production because people have always said that his voice would be perfect for musical theatre, and he certainly didn’t disappoint. He is perfectly suited to the role with his poweful and effortless voice. He is also brilliant at the acting aspect of the show, which he hasn’t had many chances to show before. Although he has starred in pantomimes and Tommy the Musical recently, this is his first major role in musical theatre. My personal highlight of the show was Joe singing Close Every Door. The emotion and power he put into that song was breathaking and it was a very beautiful and emotional moment.

Joe was joined onstage by Britain’s Got Talent finalist Lucy Kay who also has a very beautiful powerful voice. She was a brilliant choice for the narator and guided the show along through some of the classic songs like ‘Poor Poor Joseph’ and ‘Jacob and Sons’. On BGT, Lucy performed opera songs and during this show she sounded just as brilliant using her operatic voice for musical theatre songs and she is a real talent.

A lovely addition to the show was the choir, which features a different group of children at each venue, this time from the Bristol School of Performing Arts. They were so professional sitting on the stage for the duration of the show and providing harmonies during the songs. They kicked off the second half of the show with their own medley of some of the show’s songs and they did this brilliantly.

Joseph is so uplifting and has a feel-good atmosphere about it. It was my first time seeing a production of the show and I definitely wasn’t disappointed, as it was proven to me why it is such a hugely popular production. There is a lot of humour within the show including Elvis as the Pharoah and some pop-up sheep which gave the audience many laughs and appealed to all ages there. The end of the show was an opportunity for everyone to get up and dance as the cast performed some of the biggest hits again, which was a long fun encore which ended the show perfectly.

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The UK tour is running until July at many venues around the country and I would definitely recommend going to see it for an enjoyable afternoon/evening. The cast are all very talented and fantastic in the show so I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. I have even heard from fans of Joseph who have seen it many times that Joe McElderry is possibly the best Joseph they’ve seen, so book your tickets before it’s too late! You can find all of the details and tickets here.

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The Beauty Of Spotify

I absolutely love Spotify. Yes, artists (looking at you Taylor Swift) have their issues around it and they have valid reasons, but for someone who is always looking to discover new music, it’s the perfect way. I got stuck in my ways and the artists I knew, but then I started to want to branch out more and discover what else is out there.

Being a student, I have access to half price Spotify premium which I definitely take advantage of. It’s so useful being able to listen to all my saved songs offline, and of course I love not having the adverts after every few songs. It means that it’s my main way of listening to my music now, although I still do buy songs and albums released by the artists I support. My favourite part of Spotify is the ‘Discover’ section. Using data of what you’ve been listening to, you are given recommendations to other artists and albums you may be interested in. I’ve discovered many new albums I love through this. You even get your own ‘Discover Weekly’ playlist, which updates every Monday with new songs you may be interested in. When I listen to a song on here that I like, I save it to a playlist I set up for this use so I can listen again another time, or listen to a whole playlist of new songs I’ve discovered and enjoyed.

Another way of discovering new music is through looking at the new releases to see the most recent music, a lot of which I’m not aware of. I’ve saved many new albums through this. There’s also the way of browsing for playlists, in which new songs will appear. In addition, when you are on an artist’s page, the ‘Related Artists’ come up at the side. I’ve often found myself going on a trail through all different artist’s pages and discovering new people to listen to, related to the artists I already know I enjoy listening to. I love it too when there’s an artist I’ve discovered who isn’t well known, and I hear their songs in films and TV programmes for example. I watched the film Paper Towns last week, and there was a song by Twin Shadow played at the end, which I discovered through Spotify and I love that album.

Spotify makes it so easy for us to discover new music that we grow to love. It means no more looking through iTunes and Youtube trying to think of new things to search. Yes, you can discover plenty of new music this way, but Spotify just simplifies the whole process and has opened my eyes to much more music.

What do you all think of Spotify? Do you love it or are you not bothered?

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Michael McIntyre- Happy & Glorious Tour review

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Happy Sunday bloggers!

This week I got to experience seeing a comedian live for the first time, and it happened to be my favourite comedian Michael McIntyre. I attended the Happy & Glorious tour at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena. After having the tickets booked for a year, my friends and I were very excited to finally be going. We had seats in row P, which meant we were close enough to see everything going on but far enough away to not be picked on haha!

The evening started with the support act Paul Tonkinson, who provided a lot of laughs before the main event. His set was based around the idea of how people are at different ages, and his family life. It was an entertaining set and a great warm-up act.

When Michael came on, he was soon distracted by items in the audience. He was intrigued by the Ninja Turtle bags and he took ‘a bit of bunting’ from one audience member, which was of the Welsh dragon, and hung it up on his set. This led to all the Welsh jokes, including about what people think of Swansea, which entertained the crowd. It amazes me how much talent comedians have when they do things like this, as they are just as funny when they are making jokes on the spot and they haven’t been rehearsed at all. The set continued as hilariously as it started and covered subjects such as ‘funny sleeping’, his holiday to Dubai and his experiences moving to the countryside. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever laughed as much as I did that night; it was absolutely hilarious!

I definitely enjoyed my first experience of seeing a comedian live, and I’m glad it was Michael because he never fails to make me laugh and the show was as funny as I’d hoped. I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing a DVD of the show, although it’s slightly disappointing for me that it won’t be of the show I went to, meaning we won’t be able to rewatch all the Welsh jokes and unique parts we saw on that date. But I would definitely recommend going to see him live if you get the chance, because I had such a fun night and Michael McIntyre is a very funny guy!

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Song Spotlight: Sarah Harding- Indelible

Hi bloggers,

Today I’m putting the spotlight on a song that I absolutely love and I personally feel should be heard by more people. It’s called Indelible and it’s by Sarah Harding, best known as 1/5 of girl band Girls Aloud. 2015 is the year she’s finally released her own solo music, after previously scrapping all the material she’d already recorded, feeling it wasn’t fresh enough anymore. She’s recently made an appearance in 4 episodes of Coronation Street and taken part in Celebrity Masterchef, but this month she went back to her music and released her EP ‘Threads’ featuring 3 songs, one of which was Indelible.

Many will have heard the single Thread as this is the song which Sarah promoted, which has a rocky upbeat sound about it (similar to the other track Live Before I Die). Indelible is a big contrast and it’s a powerful heartfelt ballad. Featuring emotional lyrics relating to experiences in her life, such as ‘these fractured hearts never heal the same’ and ‘these scars are my disguise’, you can tell there’s a lot of personal meaning in the song. It’s also a great track to showcase her raw voice. I love the whole EP, but Indelible really is the stand-out track to me and Sarah’s done an incredible job on it. Take a listen below and let me know what you think. And if you love what you hear, you can follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahNHarding

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S Club 7- Bring It All Back 2015

On Saturday night, I was lucky enough to relive my childhood and went to the 02 Arena to see the S Cub 7 reunion tour. This was so exciting seeing as I absolutely loved them as a child and their music and TV shows are still my guilty pleasure.

From the moment the lights went down, everyone was on their feet which set the tone for the night. It was definitely one of the best audiences I’ve ever been in in terms of the crowd atmosphere. Everyone had anticipated this reunion for so long and was in the mood for a party. The show started with Bring The House Down which, although it wasn’t a single, worked very well as an opener. All of the greatest hits were in the setlist, such as Bring It All Back, S Club Party and Reach (seen in my Instagram video below).

The band added a twist to the show by each having a small solo section. Tina sung Stronger (from the Sunshine album), Bradley did a DJ set where he played some of the band’s album tracks, and Jo & Jon decided to team up to sing their duet of Hello Friend. Paul opted to perform an acoustic version of Reach, which had a great reception and everyone was singing the lyrics back. I think the most anticipated solo was Rachel’s, as she is the member who has had the most chart success as a solo artist. I loved her performance of her hits Some Girls and Sweet Dreams My LA Ex. However, I was confused by Hannah’s solo, which was a cover of Paula Abdul’s Straight Up. This really didn’t fit with the flow of the show so I don’t understand the reasoning behind this choice. The other members all sung S Club songs, except for Rachel who sung her own chart hits. Although Hannah didn’t have lead vocals on many songs in the band, I’m sure she could have found a song suitable for her solo section.

As well as the band’s greatest hits and their solo parts, they also performed a cover of Uptown Funk. Although this is a massive hit at the moment, before the show when I saw the setlist, I wasn’t sure how this would go down. People had been waiting for years to see an S Club 7 reunion so people wanted to hear their songs. However, their version went down really well so it turned out to be a good asset to the show.

The encore consisted of Never Had A Dream Come True and Don’t Stop Movin’, 2 of their biggest hits, so the night definitely ended on a high. It was clear to see that the band were overwhelmed at the reaction they were getting from a sold-out 02 Arena, 12 years after their split. They were definitely emotional when singing Say Goodbye, which was released as their final single after announcing S Club 7 had come to an end. They had a moment when the song finished, showing that they’ve all remained good friends through the years, and that the time together as band is very special to them. I had a great night and it was amazing to be able to see the band again all these years later. Their songs definitely don’t get old as they have released some classics which are still loved now, and they always get everyone dancing at parties. In fact, Reach got played in the club I went to on Monday night. It’s often hard to tell how good the vocals sound when you see a show in a big arena with a big production, but to me it sounded as if Jo had her voice back. She often had the lead vocals in S Club 7’s songs, but on their first comeback performance on Children In Need last year, her vocals had sounded shaky and people wondered whether she still had the voice she used to. Overall, the reunion tour has definitely been a success. It was long-anticipated but the reaction from what people have put on social media, the ticket sales and the crowd atmosphere shows just how loved S Club 7 still are, and what a big part they were of people’s childhoods.

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Live Music Review- Joe McElderry Evolution Tour

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Afternoon everyone,

It’s no secret that I’m a big Joe McElderry fan, and a couple of weeks ago, he kicked off his Evolution tour. This is currently running until the beginning of July, then continues in October and November, heading all over the UK. For those who don’t know him, he was the winner of the X Factor in 2009 and has since gone on to release 4 albums, as well as winning Popstar To Opera Star and The Jump. There are people who think he has ‘disappeared’ from the limelight as they personally don’t hear much from him, but this tour follows on from a 60 date UK tour last year, and he’s currently working on his 5th album. He’s an incredible talent and an amazing vocalist to see live.

I went to see the show for the first time last week in Cheltenham. I wanted to post this review earlier, but I’ve had Internet problems (see my last blog post) so I’m only getting round to doing it now. The show begins at the start of Joe’s career to fully show the jouney he’s made as a singer. The first song is Dance With My Father, which was his audition song on X Factor, followed by Somebody To Love (a cover of the Queen song which he sung during the live shows), and The Climb (his winners single). The rest of the first half of the show remains pretty chilled and really shows off Joe’s voice. He moves through songs from all of his albums, including a couple of opera tracks which he started singing after winning Popstar To Opera Star, inspiring his second album ‘Classic’. It always amazes me how he can move between pop songs and opera songs so effortlessly, when the two require very different singing techniques. Below is a video of one of these opera songs- Canto Della Terra:

The second half is where the more pop side of Joe’s career comes in, with the more uptempo songs and where everyone gets up and dances. This includes some songs from his first album ‘Wide Awake’ such as Fahrenheit, and a cover of the current song ‘Uptown Funk’. My favourite part of this half is a Joe show regular called Jukebox Joe. This is where Joe takes requests of songs from the audience, and if he knows them, he will sing a part of it. The live band also chip in where they can. This can range from songs from Joe’s albums which he hasn’t got on the setlist already, to songs currently in the charts, and songs from previous decades. It’s obviously all completely unrehearsed and shows off Joe’s talent as well as the band’s. It also shows Joe’s fun side because he has such stage presence which has grown throughout his career. At the night in Cheltenham, the songs included Stay With Me (Sam Smith), My Way (Frank Sinatra) and Fight For This Love (Cheryl Fernandez-Versini). Below is a video from the date in Chesterfield:

The show ended with a new song written by Joe himself called Hollywood, and his single Ambitions. Everyone was on their feet and having fun which made a really great atmosphere.

Some of the shows on the tour are very intimate acoustic shows. I went to one of these on Friday in East Grinstead, and although it’s a different experience to a full band show, it’s equally enjoyable. You get to hear Joe’s voice stripped right back with just a piano and acoustic guitar. He even said himself during the show that singing acoustically makes him hear different things that he doesn’t notice in his own songs and vocals during band shows. The setlist is pretty much the same, with just a couple of changes to suit the style of the show, and the songs are stripped back. The Evolution tour fully shows off Joe’s talent and versatility as a performer, and going back to songs from the start of his career demonstrates how he has grown and developed as an artist over the past 5/6 years. While most artists say the same generic things to the crowd every night of their tour, Joe tells random stories of his day and often has the crowd in stitches with his natural charm. I would definitely recommend going to see a show if you can, if you want to see a great vocalist live. Here is a link to all the dates for this year from Joe’s official website: http://joemcelderryofficial.com/tour-dates/

(Credit to the original posters for the videos- Michelle & Paula)

Enjoy the rest of your weekends,

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